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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

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possible course,, allowing event after event to pass unchallenged., estimating
their country to be unequal to the task for which it was predestined by
reason of its geographical position and power. They had watched
country after country fall before the prevalence of this or that Power, the
Rhineland, Abyssinia., Albania, Spain, Austria, Czecho-Slovakia. They
feared another war ; " who in Europe/' claimed Baldwin., " does not know
that one more war in the West, and the civilisation of the ages will fall
with as great shock as that of Rome ?9S* It was this policy of fear of
c another war" which had permitted Germany to regain her military
strength and re-embark on her territorial aggrandisement and a policy
which had always endeavoured to treat Europe as the edge of the British
Empire, where all delicate problems should be temporarily settled by some
compromise. Such a policy of non-intervention against the forces under-
mining the created and existing order, might have been successful if some
of the nations dwelling in that c edge * had not been in the position to
shake the complacency of this policy, and threaten Britain herself. But,
since two of the three existing Imperialist Powers in the world, packed
tight with dynamic forces of aggression, were labouring on the continent
of Europe to start a world-wide conflagration, Britain's manoeuvring
could do nothing else but end in a fiasco. Just as Foch had prophesied,
the work of Lloyd George sufficed for twenty years, not even the life of
one generation. Churchill, of his own accord, was casting doubts in his
speech as to whether his work would survive even that period of twenty
years5 peace of Lloyd George.
Until Teheran, Churchill had talked enthusiastically of a great or-
ganisation of a durable peace based on the federation of Europe. After
that meeting, where he and Roosevelt accepted the idea of Russian
leadership on the Continent, the sacrifice was begun with the Eastern
and part of Central Europe.
Whether or not they were meant to be sincere or lasting, Churchill
nevertheless had given secret promises to Stalin and he was obliged to
disclose these publicly, as he began to do all he could towards smoothing
the path of the Moscow overlord as the latter commenced to take over
that agreed section of Europe. It can only be assumed that, at root of
this change of front, lay the fact that Churchill was convinced that Russia
would present less danger to Britain than Germany had. The Soviet
Union would be fully occupied, at any rate for some years to come, in
healing its terrible wounds before it would be ready to embark on a
further conquest, meanwhile the German long-distance shells, rockets and
flying bombs were still falling on the roofs of London.
The Press of America reported that Stalin had called a halt to the
offensive in Poland and was unwilling to continue unless the British
Government was prepared to swear once more in public that they and
* June 83 1926.